any of numerous microscopic, unicellular, marine or freshwater algae of the phylum Chrysophyta, having cell walls containing silica.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use diatom in a sentence
These ecologically sensitive “salares” nourish cyanobacteria and diatom algae, which in turn are eaten by three types of flamingos, half of the world’s flamingo species.Lithium mining may be putting some flamingos in Chile at risk | Jake Buehler | March 15, 2022 | Science News
You think of cathedrals falling into their basements after a brutal reformation, the dynamite containing, yes, diatoms—the silicate reliquiae of ocean microorganisms.The Whale Who Will Come Soon - Issue 105: Whale Songs | Rebecca Giggs | September 8, 2021 | Nautilus
The size of the diatom, the amount of gelatine, and several other factors, will enter into the question of success or failure.
It is necessary to avoid any air current which will cause the diatom to fall from the thread.
Thus Pseudocerataulus Kinkeri is a diatom which cannot possibly be seen without the use of a microscope.The Romance of Plant Life | G. F. Scott Elliot
In fact, the two pass without any sharp boundary into each other, and both present transitions to the diatom ooze.
The diatom itself may be washed in the same way, if it is not too small.
British Dictionary definitions for diatom
any microscopic unicellular alga of the phylum Bacillariophyta, occurring in marine or fresh water singly or in colonies, each cell having a cell wall made of two halves and impregnated with silica: See also diatomite
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Scientific definitions for diatom
Any of various one-celled aquatic organisms of the class Bacillariophyceae that have hard bivalve shells (called frustules) composed mostly of silica, can perform photosynthesis, and often live in colonies. They make up a large portion of the marine plankton and are an important food source for many aquatic animals. The skeletal remains of diatoms are the main constituent of diatomite.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.